Every JFRD firefighter will be tested for COVID-19. Testing started Saturday after 14 tested positive for the virus. The city said more than 200 firefighter are in self-quarantine.
COVID-19 tests are underway on everyone in the Jacksonville Fire Department after 14 firefighters tested positive for the virus. Mayor Lenny Curry tweeted out the news earlier Saturday evening. He said, “while this could lead to more of our first responders sidelined through quarantine, my top priority remains slowing the spread of the virus.”
Right now, 214 firefighters are sidelined. There are approximately 1,550 firefighters, so about 14% of the department is off the streets right now. Action News Jax asked Randy Wyse, president of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters if this is going to impact the department’s response. His response: “No. I don’t think anybody on the streets will see an altered response.”
WJAX-TV CBS 47 Jacksonville
A car slammed into the living area of a Rialto fire station Friday night, June 26, almost striking a firefighter and leaving a stew of smashed furniture, broken glass and vehicle fluid behind as it reversed out of the building.
The firefighter, an engineer who is a veteran of 15 years, was sitting about 3 feet from where the front quarter of the car went into the building, Battalion Chief Cory Cisneros said Saturday. The firefighter was treated at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton for minor injuries and released. He is expected to spend two weeks recovering at home, Cisneros said Saturday.
“If it was a foot to the north, we’d be having a funeral,” Cisneros said.
Cisneros said the driver appeared to be about 19. He also was hospitalized with minor injuries, Cisneros said.
Rialto police could not be reached for comment on the circumstances of the crash Saturday.
The station remained open Saturday, Cisneros said.
A conflict is brewing between the Oneida County Department of Emergency Services and a handful of local fire chiefs who do not want to give up their 3-digit identification numbers.
The county 9-1-1 Center is planning to switch from number identifications to plain language in order to better serve an impending upgrade to a digital radio system. But the local chiefs say they do not want to give up their 3-digits because of tradition and other technical concerns.
“There’s a lot of history that goes with the identification,” said Western Fire Chief Michael Anania, who has been ‘650’ for more than 20 years. Anania said he has no plans to change that identification, and he is also worried about what will happen if every chief in the county suddenly becomes “car one.”
“If you go to a fire scene, when somebody talks on the radio, the majority of the time the first part of the transmission gets cut off. So if we have six ‘car ones’ there, they’re all the same identify. But if you have six different chief numbers there, they’re individuals. It’s less confusing at a fire scene.”
Startup Allerio announced that its easy-to-use Mobile Hub broadband platform designed for EMS use and the healthcare community has been certified for use by the FCC and multiple U.S. carriers—FirstNet/AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and U.S. Cellular.
“One of the unique things about this is that there’s one button on it—it turns the device on, and it turns the device off,” Allerio CEO TJ Kennedy said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “Everything else—setting up the unit on the multiple networks, engaging with VPNs and everything else, from a security standpoint—happens automatically for you. There’s nothing you have to do.”
Introduced last fall and available immediately, the Allerio Mobile Hub has been redesigned to be even more portable while maintaining the ability support three LTE broadband connections, Kennedy said. Weighing 1.96 pounds, the Mobile Hub is 8.9 inches by 7.4 inches, with a thickness of just 1.2 inches, based on the company’s specification sheet about the Mobile Hub.
IWCE's Urgent Communications
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday expanded its list of risk factors that make people more likely to develop severe illness or die from COVID-19. The update comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections rises to record levels in the United States, driven by alarming spikes in Florida, Texas and other states across the South and West.
The agency also said that pregnant women might be at higher risk, though more research is needed on that and a number of other underlying health conditions that may affect risk.
The chance of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk, but the CDC noted that the risk doesn't begin suddenly at age 65. Instead, "people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s. The greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is among those aged 85 or older."